Lobbying submissions

Hello to everyone,
My first message here. And some apologies as tried to find this information myself on the web site and elsewhere, but see no mention of this, so hopefully it’s ok to ask through the forum.

As briefly as I can. I am involved in developing projects looking at lobbying transparency. But from a different angle to what we usually see.

Working on the argument that knowing who is lobbying, or who is meeting whom, is only of limited use. The more pertinent transparency information is what are organisations asking for, and what arguments are they making. Trying to find ways to make it much easier to gather what is being said, in order to then better analyse this, and make it usable for civic society groups. (Happy to discuss this with any interested colleague in more detail)

With that in mind. Have there been any initiatives to make it open and easy, develop API etc, on interest group submissions to governmental consultations, to parliamentary committee enquiries etc.

My first looking around says not. Does anyone know if this being looked at or worked on anywhere?

As I say, hope this ok for this forum.
Many thanks

Dr Scott Davidson
University of Leicester

Hi Scott,

This sounds like really interesting research.

I know that Transparency International UK have their Open Access monitor which consolidates all the lobbying information in a one-stop-shop that makes it much easier to analyse and see where lobbying is happening in UK government institutions. https://openaccess.transparency.org.uk/

It doesnt necessarily detail the content of discussions. In a previous job I had, we looked into this a bit, and found it difficult to get information like minutes of meetings, or names of attendees to lobby meetings. We used FOIs as very little/no deatiled information was proactively published. It might be useful: https://www.access-info.org/open-decision-making/

You might also get some inspiration from EU level lobbying work done by groups like Corporate Europe Observatory, or ALTER EU coalition. They used FOIs to get further information about meetings too.



Hi Scott

Do let me know if you would like to be put in touch with our head of research to discuss further.